Lifesaver or distraction? Police split on anti-overdose drug

Lifesaver or distraction? Police split on anti-overdose drug
Narcan/Flickr

By DAN SEWELL
Associated Press

BATAVIA, Ohio (AP) - The divide over the overdose antidote naloxone between sheriffs in two hard-hit counties in Ohio shows just how elusive solutions are on the front lines of the U.S. opioid crisis.

The sheriff of Clermont County firmly believes it's a call of duty for his deputies to carry the drug. His counterpart in nearby Butler County says it subjects deputies to danger while making no lasting impact on the death toll.

An Associated Press survey of Ohio sheriffs found that at least a little more than three-fourths equip their deputies with naloxone. But it's hard to gauge what effect it's having.

The antidote is also widely distributed to families and friends of people with addiction, and drug potencies can vary around the country and even around a state.

Studies on the drug's effectiveness are being done or planned around the country, including in the Cincinnati area.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.